The experimental station at Spino d’Adda represents one of the most important experimental facilities in Italy (and in the world) as for radio wave propagation on earth-satellite links. It hosts valuable instruments, property of Politecnico di Milano, of ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) and of IEIIT-CNR (Istituto di Elettronica e di Ingegneria dell'Informazione delle Telecomunicazioni-Sezione di Milano – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche).
The most important instruments are:
- Meteorological S-Band Doppler radar
- Receiving high gain antennas (3,5 metres in diameter) working from 12 to 50 GHz
- Receiving and transmitting station at 20 and 30 GHz with 5 m diameter antenna
- Radiometers (single channel at 13 GHz, double channel at 20-30 GHz, triple channel at 20-30-50 GHz)
- Rain gauge and meteorological station
The experimental station is operating since 1979 and was involved in the most important propagation experiments (Sirio, Olympus and Italsat), allowing attenuation and depolarization measurements between 11 and 50 GHz, and phase and amplitude distortion around 40 GHz. Extended radiometric measurement campaigns for attenuation and remote sensing applications are also carried out.
The meteorological radar has been used in the recent past for environmental applications like generation of precipitation maps in real time for Regione Lombardia (civil protection), and bird migration monitoring.
The station is now being refurbished: ASI has assigned an important contract to DEI for the maintenance and upgrade of the equipment, to be ready for the new experimental campaigns when the European Alphasat satellite will be launched (at the end of year 2012).